Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani is facing a ban after being sued by the English Football Association for what they have called ‘offensive and inappropriate’ language on his Instagram page.
The 33-year-old posted another message to a friend after scoring twice in the 3-2 win in Southampton on Sunday 29 November, writing in Spanish: “gracias, negrito, “- a term that can be interpreted as racist in the UK.
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Although widely used in South America and the Caribbean as an expression of affection, in England the word is considered to have a racial connotation, prompting the FA to investigate Cavani’s post.
If Cavani, who has missed United’s last two games due to injury, is found guilty, he could be hit by a three-game ban under FA rules.
A statement released by the FA on Thursday read: “Edinson Cavani has been charged with misconduct for violating FA rule E33 in relation to a social media post on Sunday, November 29, 2020.
It is alleged that, contrary to FA Rule E3.1, a comment on the Manchester United FC player’s Instagram page was offensive and / or insulting and / or inappropriate and / or brought the game into disrepute.
The comment is further alleged to constitute an “Aggravated Violation”, which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as it contained an explicit or implicit reference to color and / or race and / or ethnicity.
“The striker has until Monday, January 4, 2021 to answer the charges.”
Cavani then dropped the post and apologized as United released their own statement to further defend the Uruguay international.
Sources have told ESPN that in Cavani’s statements to the FA, Cavani insisted that the word should not be used with racial or derogatory intent in Uruguay and that the friend in question uses the term with his own son.
United, meanwhile, argued that the word was used as a term of affection and that the cultural context is key, but sources have told ESPN it was not taken into account by the FA.
A club spokesman said: “ Manchester United and all our players are fully committed to the fight against racism and we will continue to work with the FA in that regard – along with other governing bodies and organizations, and through our own campaigns. .
“We take note of the FA’s decision today to charge Edinson Cavani for his reaction on social media to a friend’s congratulations after the game in Southampton.
Edinson and the club were clear that there was absolutely no malicious intent behind the message, which he deleted and apologized for as soon as he was told it could have been misinterpreted.
“The player and the club will now consider the charge and respond to the FA accordingly.”